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Playwright Ntozake Shange has died at 70

Ntozake Shange, the trailblazing author and playwright of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf, passed away yesterday morning, her family confirmed on social media. Shange was 70. 

"To our extended family and friends, it is with sorrow that we inform you that our loved one, Ntozake Shange, passed away peacefully in her sleep in the early morning of October 27, 2018," their statement read. "Memorial information / details will follow at a later date.  
The family of Ntozake Shange."

For Colored Girls chronicles the experiences of seven black women through monologue and dance, confronting topics of sexism, rape, and domestic violence. The play has long been considered a benchmark for black female writers and inspired a book, film, and Tony Award-nominated Broadway play.

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According to the Washington Post, Shange was instrumental to black female artists and thinkers, impacting the likes of #MeToo founder Tarana Burke and Pulitzer Prize winner and playwright Lynn Nottage, who called Shange "our warrior poet/dramatist." 

On Saturday, Shange's daughter Savannah, a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, told ABC News that the playwright passed in her sleep at an assisted living home in Bowie, Maryland. "She spoke for, and in fact embodied, the ongoing struggle of black women and girls to live with dignity and respect in the context of systemic racism, sexism and oppression," she said.

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